Most patents covering dermatologic products contain patent claims directed to the pharmaceutical formulation of the product. Such patents, known as formulation patents, are vulnerable to attacks based on the legal argument that the formulations covered are obvious over formulations already known prior to the filing of the patent application. Because obviousness is an important concept in patent law, recent court cases concerning obviousness and formulation patents were examined and discussed below. Courts have ruled that patent claims are obvious when features of the claimed formulation are found in the prior art, even if the features or characteristics of the formulation are not explicitly disclosed in the prior art. However, patentees have successfully overcome obviousness challenges where there were unexpected results or properties and/or the prior art taught away from the claimed invention.